The 3-D Printed Robot That Taught Itself to Skate

February 8, 2019 By IdeaConnection

Robot Learns to SkateWell, here's something you don't see every day - a robot skating on ice. That in itself is a mean feat but what is even more remarkable is that the bot is 3-D printed and it taught itself to move on the ice.

The fancy footwork was recently on display at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The scientists behind the skating sensation told it how one skate works, and it figured out the rest.

“The only thing we tell it is how one ice skate behaves on ice,” said  ETH Zurich 's Prof Stelian Coros in an interview with the BBC’s Click program.

“In particular, the fact that it's free to move in the direction of the blade, and it has high-friction forces in a direction that's orthogonal to it. After this, the robot figures out entirely on its own how to move on ice.”

Professor Coros went on to say that he envisions a time in the not-too-distant future when it will be as easy to create robots as it is to currently make structures out of LEGO.

Real-World Applications

Using 3-D printed, modular parts, the robotic marvel can learn to navigate any terrain.  While it is fun to see it throw some shapes on the ice rink there are some very practical real-world uses of this technology. For example, search and rescue missions, deliveries and helping people.

To see the 3-D robot glide effortlessly across the ice, click here which takes you to the BBC’s website.


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